Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Obligatory Year-End Post

Well, 2011 is almost over. It looks like it's time to look back at the year and see what I accomplished, if anything.

In terms of new publications, my art publications once again outnumbered my poetry publications. I saw my art featured on seven different covers/doors ("Wandering Ole Willow" on the cover of the January OG's Speculative Fiction, "Meeting the Insectoids" on the cover of the April Beyond Centauri, "Elf and Troll" on the cover of the July Bards and Sages Quarterly, "Mighty Steed, White Dragon" on the cover of the August Kids'Magination, "Conjuring the Dragon" on the cover of the September OG's Speculative Fiction, "Holiday on Phreetum Prime" on the cover of the October Kids'Magination, and "Crossing the Ertrixian Snowfields" on the door of the December Spaceports and Spidersilk). I also saw four samples of my artwork accompany an artist profile in The Gloaming. A handful of my interior illustrations appear in various publications ("My Macabre Valentine" in the February House of Horror, "What Greets me at the End" in the May Cover of Darkness, "An Eldritch Herald" in the July Bete Noire, "Morning Stars Sing in the Speculative Realm" in the While the Morning Stars Sing anthology, and the illustration for Matt Adams' "Old Fashioned Police Work" in the October Strange, Weird, and Wonderful). I also saw the (very limited) publication of the special edition of the Lancelot poetry collection by Alex Ness and Guy-Francois Evrard containing my illuminated letters and knotwork embellishments. I even drew the lettering for the title on the cover.(Note: my illustration "Holiday on Phreetum Prime" had originally appeared in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, November 2009, and "Mighty Steed, White Dragon" had previously appeared on items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.)

I guess you could say I accomplished my goal of seeing my art on yet more covers, proving to myself that my art may indeed work as cover art. Some of my best artwork yet was released this past year. I was especially proud of the illuminated letters and knotwork embellishments I composed for the special edition of the Lancelot poetry collection.

My poetry continues to sell and to see publication, albeit at a much slower rate than it did two or three years ago. Fifteen of my poems that had not previously appeared in zines saw publication in various venues. A number of my reprint poems also saw publication. My dark speculative poem "Song of the Dead" was published twice this year, once in the February Sounds of the Night, and again in Issue 11 of Dark Metre.

The only bits of prose I saw published this year were two of my drabbles ("The Abominable Snowman Snowless" and "The Stars Weren't Really Right After All") in The Drabbler #19. "The Abominable Snowman Snowless" received Honorable mention in the 19th Sam's Dot Drabble Contest.

In addition to my 2011 publications, I also saw sales of poems and artwork due to come out in 2012. Right now, I have artwork and poems slated for publication in January, artwork slated for publication in February, artwork and poems slated for publication in April, a reprint poem slated for publication in May, another reprint poem slated for publication in July, a poem slated for publication Summer 2012, a reprint poem slated for publication in two scifaiku slated for publication in November. I also have a handful of forthcoming pieces (mostly art) that do not have a definite publication date.

I'm hoping to see even more sales in 2012, but time will tell. I do have a few poems and a couple of artworks still in submission limbo. And then there's my prose fiction...

I don't have a lot of prose fiction currently out in submission limbo, but I do have a few stories awaiting rejection or acceptance. One of my horror stories has been under consideration at a certain pro horror venue since October 2010. This particular submission has been a study in patience. If patience is a virtue, I've been very virtuous with this one!

A rather large illustration project came my way this year. I've already started work on it, although the work has been going slowly because I've been distracted by other things (like the holidays), I think most of my time in 2012 is going to be spent working on the illustrations for this project. I don't mind; it keeps me busy, and solicited work is a much surer thing than unsolicited submissions. However, I should probably try and fit some other things in-between the illustrations for this project. There is a story I would like to try to complete and send out there.

Outside of the realm of publication, I continue to sell items featuring my art through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. I also set up a Cafe Press Store, but I will admit that I don't have many images in that store. I have yet to see any sales of any of my Cafe Press items. Considering that one of my goals was to continue to make some sales outside of the realm of publication, I guess you could say that I did work toward that goal. There is more I could do, if I ever get around to it.

Strangely enough, I made more sales (in number) this year than last year, but I made less money this year than last. That's a worrying trend that I would like to reverse. A few well-paying sales might help, but I seem to be having difficulty breaking into the better-paying markets. I was hoping my prose might do it, but I now realise that this was probably a false hope.

Anyway, that's my year in review. (If anyone is interested in the specifics regarding my 2011 poetry publications, more details can be found in my list of 2011 publications, posted separately.)

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